Moloney may be first woman to lead UMass Lowell

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Written by Colin A. Young

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON  After looking all around the world for a new chancellor, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Chancellor Search Committee on Monday realized it needed not look any further than the Mill City.

The search committee, which last week interviewed five candidates for the chancellorship, recommended Jacqueline Moloney, the school’s current executive vice chancellor, for the top job at a meeting Monday morning, the university announced.

Moloney, a UMass-Lowell alumna, was the first person selected by former Chancellor Marty Meehan for his executive team and “oversaw a comprehensive restructuring of the organization, making it more student-focused and entrepreneurial,” according to a biography on the university’s website.

She was the sole candidate, out of five interviewed by the search committee, to be put forward as a finalist by the search committee.

“The expression of confidence that Executive Vice Chancellor Moloney has received from the search committee is appropriate and well deserved, as Jacquie Moloney is a dynamic leader who played a major role in all that has occurred at UMass Lowell in recent years,” Meehan, now president of the UMass system, said in a statement. “For her to get this far in the search process represents a historic opportunity for UMass Lowell to finally break the glass-ceiling.”

In June, the UMass Board of Trustees created a 24-member panel tasked with finding a successor to Meehan, who left his post at UMass-Lowell to become president of the public university system.

Meehan, a former Massachusetts congressman, started as UMass president on July 1. After an accelerated search, the UMass Board chose him May 1 over one other finalist to succeed departing UMass President Robert Caret. Meehan had held the Lowell chancellorship since July 2007.

The committee had the assistance of a search firm in its international pursuit of a chancellor and on Monday made its recommendation to Meehan, who will interview Moloney and decide whether to recommend her to the UMass Board of Trustees.

If the board approves Moloney for the position, she will become the first female chancellor in the 121-year history of UMass-Lowell and its preceding institutions, the university said.

The campus currently has 17,184 students and employs 2,071 faculty members and staffers. UMass-Lowell started as a teaching college known as the Lowell Normal School in 1894.